Posts From June 2012
City Revivals / Generational Change
This past weekend, we were blessed with the opportunity to work with two different groups of teens at the United Presbyterian Church of Whitinsville, MA. There were a few teens that converged together for this incredible event that ministered to both the adults and teens alike. It was awesome to see the power of God fill our times of worship and the Holy Spirit’s presence provide healing for those that needed it during the event. God was definitely the guest of honor and moved in the hearts of those that He needed to stir and prod.
Our theme for the weekend was based on how our realities and stories need to intersect and be about God’s redemptive plan and story for humankind. It was quite an intimate atmosphere that was geared towards allowing us to see the greater picture of God’s revival for individuals to eventually change into city wide renewal and generational transformation and change. I absolutely love how God shows up at these events and takes them and paints on our hearts the desire to see even greater things than what is taking place before our eyes. It allows us to think about a world that isn’t self focused, but God honoring.
At one point in the weekend, we were driving to a park to go hiking and spend the afternoon together outdoors. I looked around and saw the abandoned buildings and mills that once had businesses at work to give the town identity. Now, there isn’t much left to these business and the buildings themselves are left to much decay. I was reminded in the car ride that it isn’t the leftovers that give this town and small city identity, it is the restorative power of the Lord. God wants to move in individuals’ lives and cares about the details, but He also cares about the condition of our cities and our neighbors that so desperately need His loving touch and grace to set the sinner free from the spiritual bondages to their lives.
God is on the move. He is stirring my heart to see the greater picture, the big story of His will to be unleashed in people’s lives. The revival of the 1800s in Rochester, NY can still happen today in the cities around the USA and the world. I’m dreaming and I’m optimistic! I’m entrenched in how this could happen and simply thinking about how it can all come together. I’m reminded of prayer and the need to live in humble submission to the things of God. He wants to break out, but He wants to start first in me. I want to have a contagious walk with the Lord and I pray that others would want the same. Without it, I am simply ministering from my own heart of flesh instead of under the transformational power of the Lord.
So… let’s do it! More importantly, let’s allow Him to do it! Let’s surrender our expectations and will, desiring to have God write His will and plan on our lives by listening to the still small voice of God competing to reach our lives in spite of the busyness and noisiness of life itself. Let’s go for it together!
Now… go get ‘em!
The Summertime Checkout
I know many times it is easy to begin to check out of the normal ways of life when the summer weather begins to hit. We start thinking about summer vacation and plans by the pool. We think about time that we can have with friends and family (even though it is sometimes forced-family-fun). Things really begin to switch up and our minds have the tendency of relaxing during these times where school lets out and the summer vacation begins.
There is a challenge in all of this. It is easy to begin to allow our walk with the Lord to take a break while we seem to be on vacation from the responsibilities of life. I can’t think of a greater time to grow in the Lord and the opportunities really to enter into His rest and His blessing. The chaos and craziness of life that has been going on since the beginning of the school year back in late August or September now allows our soul and heart to quiet down and listen for the still small voice of the Lord.
If you’re anything like me, though, I don’t always remember the opportunities that present themselves to grow in Jesus Christ. I think about the stuff that I want to get done and the projects that need to take place. When I was a teen, back in the day, I thought about funding for my car and having to go get a job in the real world that would last through the summer and find something else to do during the school year. Life really switches gears in a huge and significant way.
Don’t allow your walk with the Lord to shift into a lower gear that slows you down from growing spiritually. Shift quietly and get into the place of life where you can be still and know that He is God. Enjoy the summer break and the freedom that comes from getting away from exams, school work, drama, etc. but don’t get away from all that God desires to do and build up in your heart. He wants to do some incredible things, let Him in to go and do it!
So… Go get ‘em. Do it to it! And know that the best is yet to come, but as for right now, decide intentionally to serve Him this summer with your time. Don’t be part of the summertime checkout! Check into His incredible presence and reality for your life. You are appreciated!
Reluctance: Missed Opportunities
Are you one of those people that say that you have no regrets? Do you proclaim it and even boast about it? Has every single moment of your life really been devoted to the mission of meaning that you are striving for? I’m not sure that all of my moments have been sold out to what I desire to live by, but I believe that I am on the right track.
Life is filled with tons of moments that we wish we could get back. Whether or not you consider these to be regretful times is really dependent upon your definition of success, regrets, and waste. When I miss the mark, I wish I could have those times back to do over and inject some excellence and life into the situation. There isn’t a day that goes by where I waste a moment or do something unworthy of the cause of life. I have tons of regrets, but I am also glad that I have one that is greater than my mistakes and can take the lowest of times and use it for His incredible and awesome glory.
I have been doing a ton of thinking about this subject as of late. How much of my time is really devoted to the things of God and the real deep purposes of life? I can’t put a percentage on it, but I am glad that God’s redemptive hand is all over my life. This is all I can think about when I live with the wonder of how much time I have wasted and the missed opportunities that I have blown. The number is astronomical, however, His grace and love are never-ending! What Satan has intended to use for evil and distract us from purpose-filled living, God has brought His redeeming power into our situations and uses it for His awesome glory.
The thing that we all have to remember is that His grace is not a license to be the same and keep on going living in sin and wasted moments. His grace is a way of reconciling our past and sin and wasted moments, but it is not to be used to have freedom to simply take advantage of doing whatever we want. We have an opportunity and there is a cost involved in receiving this awesome grace. Thank God for redeemed wasted time and the chance to live life with reconciled regrets without the need of staying in the same place.
I know, it’s difficult. It’s a hard challenge to overcome. I think that it is a lifelong process of learning and using what works in order to understand the precious time that we have in the gift of life. Life is a gift and we can use it to live selfishly or for the sake of the mission and purposes of the Lord and others. The choice is ours. He gives us the way out and the chance to be something greater than we already are. Praise God for this new creation that He allows us and enables us to be!
So… take it and live it. Don’t miss opportunities, including the one right now to have your past regrets redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Now… go get ‘em!